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Say my name, say my name: Would You Change Your Name if You Were Asked to At Work?

It’s no surprise to me that Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people are being asked to change their names at work. I have worked in several sectors and my name has always been an issue for my colleagues. I recall working in a high-end department store, where my then-manager insisted on calling me AID instead of Ade. This is pronounced Ah-day (for those of you that haven’t met someone with a Nigerian name before). This manager called me AID for nearly over a year only to stop when a former colleague corrected him. (Which confuses me because during the countless times I did correct him, he continued to say my it wrong!)   

What’s happening…

The whitewashing of BAME names is still happening despite the surge of diversity on our screens. Billions of pounds have been poured into telling stories from minority perspectives in movies and TV shows; a big chunk of celebrity athletes and musicians are BAME people– there is no avoiding us. 

Yet, people still seem to have difficulties with pronouncing non-western names. According to ITVNews more than a third of employees from an ethnic minority background are being told to change their names to something more English.  

I, on several occasions, have had requests to change my name. When it comes to having a supposedly “unique” name, English people, in my opinion, are the worst at even attempting to say your it correctly. I’ ve had people who willfully ignore how to pronounce my name. Telling me: “I will pronounce your name how it’s spelt, darling!”.

Final Thoughts….

It makes me sick because your it’s your identity; if someone can’t have the respect to even try to pronounce your name correctly. It says more about them than you.   

I’m still learning but I have now learned that my name is who I am, and if you can’t learn to give me the common courtesy to pronounce it properly you don’t deserve to speak to me. You should be proud of your name and don’t change it for anyone.  Read – Don’t TOUCH, Ask Q’s About MY HAIR

Have you ever had to change your name for people? If you have, share your story in the comments below. 

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Black Travel Creators Turns 1: Highlights

On Saturday 18th May 2019, myself and Debbie @wanderlustcalls held our first event for Black Travel Creators. The event was not only to celebrate our first birthday but to bring our platform together to learn and network whilst building a community.   

Why did you create Black Travel Creators?  

Debbie:  I’ve always believed in the power of community and being stronger when we work together. I wanted Black Travel Creators to be a space where we could all come together to collaborate and to support one another. There are so many talented black travel content creators, who have never been given a chance to showcase those talents. BTC was created to teach these content creators how to find opportunities and to ultimately connect brands with a global pool of talented black travel content creators. We didn’t want to just be a part of this continuous discussion about diversity, we wanted to help bring about change.

What do you hope for BTC in the future?  

Adebola: I hope we firstly keep on growing as a community for black travel creators where they are able to network and share opportunities with each other. I want us now to create a platform (a website) where we can help black content creators connect with brands and more. With this, I hope we can tackle the diversity issue that still exists in the travel industry.  In the meantime, I hope we can have more black travel creator ambassadors around the world where we can expand our brand globally. There are so many things I want for the BTC platform and I hope you can continue to grow with us!  

Adebola & Debbie

Did you come to #BTCTurns1 Birthday? Plug yourself and let me know what you thought? 

You can also grab yourself a T-shirt and #BTravelCreators to featured on our gram!

I would like to give a special thanks to our sponsors, host and panel:



Check out some more photos from the event!

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Travelling Helped Deal With My Depression & Anxiety.

I believe everyone goes through that phase of depression and anxiety. You know where you feel mentally and emotionally low. You’ve been there, I’ve been there, (so please be nice) – where everything seems to be going wrong. Nothing seems to be going the way you expected it to go. You physically want to stop fighting. Shut everything and everyone out of your life, curl up into a little ball and disappear.

I’ve been there, I’ve been there a lot of times and I’m sure many others like me have also. Life can hit you hard. It seems like it’s passing you by and you are just existing. Not living any more – at least, not the life you planned, wanted or thought you would have. You are just doing the things you have to do to survive from one day to the next! Life isn’t just about surviving, life is for a living – experiencing, feeling, seeing and believing in people, ideas and things.

Travelling is honestly a good escape for me.

My Story…

Now before we get any deeper into my story. I am so private so this is difficult. I want to please ask you all not to hold me accountable for anything in this article. This is because I am certainly not an expert on depression, paranoia and anxiety or any other health condition. I more or less would say I’m ‘an expert’ on my own personal issues. And I think that it is so important to take ownership of my (your) feelings, experiences (decisions and choices). Everyone’s mental and emotional health issues are different; I deal with mine by travelling. In seeing the world, experiencing different people, cultures and environments – as often as I can.

After University…

I think my worst period of depression was just after finishing university. I believe after university it is considered very common amongst many graduates to suffer with depression and anxiety.

Post-graduation depression is a serious issue that isn’t spoken about enough. According to Topuniveristies, adjusting to life after university can be traumatic. When I finished university, I remember finishing exams and asking myself ‘what next’? What am I going to do with my life? You see, I don’t feel like these institutions prepare you for what we call life! I wasn’t sure what was out there for me and I was seeing my peers secure jobs. I felt lost for a long time. It was really hard for me to get out of that hole I found myself in.


I was applying for job after job and I was getting rejection after rejection. I slowly began to close myself in and hide from the world. It became me and my laptop with no one to really talk to. In my head no one really understood what I was going through. I asked myself a number of times, what I  had done wrong. It didn’t make sense to me. In my head, I had gone to a good University. I had graduated with a 2.1. I had also travelled to over 20 countries and had gained experience whilst at uni. In my head, I thought I was the perfect candidate for any good job and a great career.

Despite having savings, I realised quickly that I needed to earn income. I began to apply for anything and everything. I secured a job in sales – BAD DECISION!!! You see, I wasn’t cut out for sales. Let’s just say I didn’t last long. I knew I didn’t want to do the job but was happy to have a so-called ‘graduate job’. I stuck it out for 3 months but was later left with nothing. I was back again at square one – with no job and steadily depleting savings!

Feeling of Failure

I was back being unemployed, looking for work but it just wasn’t going my way. I know you are probably thinking this isn’t a big deal, but for me it really was! I was always the one that was doing something, so not working was weighing me down. I felt like everything I had worked for wasn’t going to amount for anything. I didn’t realise that this was just the beginning!

Reality Kicked in…

Rewind slightly, I hadn’t travelled for that whole year after losing my job in 2014. At this point, I had hit rock bottom. I decided to take a trip to Nigeria for my birthday. This was an escape from my reality which I perceived as a nightmare.  I can honestly tell you that it was the best decision that I made for myself. I spent time with the Nigerian arm of my family. People that I truly believe understood what I was going through. They advised me that I was still so young, with a great future ahead of me; and they still advise me this today.

My Auntie Lola, in particular, is always reassuring me on how far I have come and how much further I can and will still go in life. It’s what keeps me going to this day.

It’s weird because when I got back, my mindset changed completely! I got another job and moved away from home. My home then was paradise to where I was going, but I needed to do that to move forward. I won’t lie to you.

Moving away from home was hard. I had no one around me that had my best interest, it was all for their own personal advantage; and once they were done with me, I was no longer needed. What kept me going was my drive, motivation for the fruitful future I envisaged and most of all, God.  I knew the experience I was going to gain was going to take me places. So I bore it all, though I hated where I was and the people around me; but slowly I got myself back on track and with enough money, was able to book a trip to Dubai.

Travelling Helped Me with Anxiety…

Travelling is honestly a good escape for me. It helps me to realise what is important and what isn’t. An escape from reality is always needed for me to self-reflect. Life can sometimes be so hard that you just have to take time out to fly away and come back refreshed. When you come back you are better prepared to fight, fight all the bullshit and crap life throws at you. God has given me so much opportunity to see varied life and cultures in different parts of the world; and to gain different perspectives. It has been amazing. At that time it was hard, but now life doesn’t seem all that bad. 

Life can sometimes be so hard that you just have to take time out to fly away and come back refreshed.

This was again another good trip. It gave me ten days to escape the harsh environment that I was living in. I was able to escape reality and (sigh)….. just breathe. Trust me, when you are not enjoying your current living situation. Travelling can be a good escape and was/is my only hope. It is always a good form of escape for me. It helps me not to lose it! I was able to escape from the bitchiness and the heartbreak from a relationship which was no longer working.

Mental Health

Your mental and emotional health is so important. You have to always take care of your mental and emotional health. So that you don’t hit rock bottom and develop habits you can’t get yourself out of (like drug abuse); or do something untoward – which may even harm you, others, or mar your life! Depression, paranoia, and anxiety have been my biggest enemies. I have learnt to deal with them in a very good and positive way. I have also learnt to remove myself from toxic people and those who do not have my best interest at heart. If people aren’t good for my mental and emotional health, I will not allow myself to be around them.

I hope to talk to you more, about mental such as depression and anxiety. And emotional health issues (because emotional health affects mental health – or vice vasa) in our community. They are real and they need to be properly and openly addressed.

Have you experienced the depression and anxiety?

For anyone who is experiencing anything similar, I recommend that you find something which is good; and which makes you happy. Or allows you to escape – even for a while: and ensure that you stick to it – often. The brief respite it provides for you, maybe all that you need to get yourself back on solid/staple track.

This isn’t the end of my openness with you all. In fact, let us just say it is just the beginning. 

Read also: How to Beat Post-Travel Depression

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